Ed Avis wonders:
What will you do when Y2k happens in 'real life'? Will the comic continue 'as if nothing had happened'? Or maybe After Y2K is an accurate prediction of the future 8-)"
This is the question that I'm asked the most often... all I can say is... if there is an Internet left after the power goes out, the banks fall, the riots start, the nukes go off, and the hangover clears... then I'll just upload another cartoon!
What that cartoon will be, is of course a secret. I can tell you that the week before and after New Year's will be as eventful as an online comic can possible be. You'll have to wait and see, but I assure you I'll be putting in my very best efforts.
On the other hand, if our highly networked existence fails after New Year's, then I'll be looking forward to going to the country jamboree after a long day of tilling the land, taking care of my horse, baking pies, and churning butter! ;-)
Lord Kano asks:
"Nitrozac, you being a woman of the 90's and a geek, we know
that we can trust you to answer truthfully.
So please tell us, once and for all, does size matter? "
As every geek girl knows... yes, size does matter! But the long and short of it is... it's not the only factor when rating hard drives.
Myself, I would rather have a hard drive that's strong and lasts long, (if it is big, that's a bonus). Endurance is really the key! It must be able to handle long sessions of pushing-the-envelope computing on a daily basis. If it can provide me with multiple episodes of stellar performance, then I'll never let it go! To keep the fires burning, I would partition the drive and try alternative OS's, this should really spice things up!
Of course lots of RAM is also essential, but there are other areas of the CPU that shouldn't be ignored! Pay lots of attention to those delicate parts!
To be honest, a small drive and precious little RAM, or one that's plagued with frequent failures is a real turn-off. Equally, a big hard drive that's been in many CPUs and is obviously a temporary arrangement is an even bigger turn-off.
"Do you think the self-referentialism in After Y2K has been a difficult line to walk, creatively?
Putting myself in the comic was really a spur-of-the-moment idea. The incredible response I received to my first appearance in After Y2K took me by complete surprise. After I appeared in the "Matrix" thread, I received many more requests (from both genders) to include myself. Since then, I just started having a bit of fun with it, while trying not to overdose my cartoon reality with Nitrozac.
Is there a balance you've reached between telling a good and funny story and what some may consider a bit of self-indulgence? "
I've never really agonized over it... I just thought including myself in the comic would make it more personal, and it did, and people like it. It's a lot of fun combining both real and cartoon worlds, ... whenever one of my characters pops a red .025 gm pill.
"I'm curious what software, hardware, drawing tools, etc. you use to make the series -- especially the espisodes with animated effects."
Macintosh G3/266, 160 MB RAM, two 17" monitors, ATI card, Wacom tablet stylus II, a Nikon Coolpix 900, and a what I joking call my Y2K compliant PowerPad --> a sketch book and 3B pencil.
Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and GoLive, and Macromedia Fireworks. The graphics are done in Photoshop, and Illustrator, and I occasionally use Eye Candy filters by Alien Skin. I build it all in PS, and use Fireworks for the text, balloons, and animation.
I really like using Macromedia Director and Flash, and I'm dying to do some AY2Ks with these, as it would add interactivity and better sound, but until they support Linux, I'll continue doing episodes using formats that just about everyone can see.
Thomas Miconi asks:
"My question comes in three parts :
1) Are you an Alien agent sent to earth in preparation of a global invasion of planet Earth ?
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2) In case you are, what are the steps to follow if I want to apply for special (ie favour) treatment when the invasion actually happens?
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3) If the answer to the last question involves boots or leather shoes, are Berlutti's OK ? "
Sure, but see the back page of 09/99 Vogue for further inspiration. ;)
Of all the celebrities that you send up in AY2K, (Are Rob and Jeff celebrities yet?) have any responded in a negative way? Conversely, have any responded in a fashion more positive that what you would've expected? "
No one has responded negatively at all, (they all have a great sense of humour) and the response I get is far more positive than what I ever expected. Rob and Jeff in particular have been very supportive and I can't thank them enough for this.
So far no cease and desists have been delivered... but then again Bill *is* locked in his bathroom!
I've had many, many emails from people who think they *are* the Geek, but I just send them a blue pill and everything is forgotten.
"People always ask that stupid question, "What advice do you have for people starting in field x, y, or z?" Rather than bore you with that, I want to know: What can I do to build my self-confidence enough to try and strike out on my own? What helped you get through the nervousness that you'd be perenially broke, sitting day after day, waiting for that "big break?" I find that's the biggest block to me leaving my current job (which pays very well, thank you very much) and trying to do something that I'll truly enjoy. "
Once you accept that you'll probably will be working harder than you ever had before, waiting day after day for any kind of break at all, and perennially broke, you'll be fine ;-)
The important thing is to start doing it and force yourself to do it every single day. Your self confidence will probably take care of itself, and really listen to your intuition.
My advice would be to start off slowly but steadily, hanging on to part-time work. Before you strike out, plan it all out, and imagine every step you should take, (even the unglamourous business details). Try your best to keep positive, and find some people that give you emotional support, not negativity.
"Which of the current geek-cult heroes that you draw into your strip have you met in person?
I've met only a couple of them in person, I'm not telling who. ;-)
Did they know at the time you were Nitrozac?
No, they didn't know about the cartoon yet , I don't think.
Did you take their picture or just find the photos on the web?
I took some pictures, but I mainly use assorted media photos as a reference for most of my geek-cult hero illustrations.
Is Relic or Dude based on anyone you know?
Yes, Relic is based on a neighbour and he and I had a conversation very similar to his first appearance in the cartoon. I see the real "Dude" around all the time, as a matter of fact he almost ran his bike into me the other day. Other than that, we've never spoken, man.
Will the aliens ever reveal themselves to you, and will you press charges or just giggle?
What aliens? ;-)
How long in advance do you draw your strip, and how long does it take to complete each one?
Sometimes I manage to complete the strip 1 or 2 days ahead, but mostly it's finished just before I upload it. Although this can be pretty crazy I kinda like that... it feels like I'm putting on a show every night, I prepare the comic for the audience, upload, then watch the votes and posts come in! :)
The early cartoons took an hour or so, as they were much simpler and there were no QuickPolls or Quickpoll cartoons to worry about. Now, they vary from 5 to 10 hours, sometimes longer, depending on how obsessed I get with animations and poll cartoons.
What is your day job like?
This is my day job, and my night job. I can sometimes squeeze in other projects, but I spend less time on those since going 7 days a week with the comic.
"My question is this:
Where are all the other women out there like you?
Hey, there's only one Nitrozac. There has been a lot of talk of clones, but as you probably know, their mitochondria just aren't quite as nice as the original's.
Seriously, I bet they're all around you. They surround you, they bind your world together...
I have yet to meet a woman who could write "hello world", let alone a web-comic of such quality. If this were a hypothetical friday-night, and I wanted to meet someone w/ your qualities, where would I go, what would I do, and what in god's name would I say when I met you? "
Back when I had a social life, my girl friend "M" and I used to go out to our friendly, neighborhood Irish brew pub. The clientele had a wonderful lack of jocks and high percentage of geeks, which we found very comfortable to be around.
One night my friend "M" brought her chess set, so we'd have something to do while chatting and drinking beer. This was great, as a lot of geeky guys overcame their shyness to challenge us to some games, which we always accepted. We had a great time, and met many fabulous Geeks! ;)
What should you say when you see a couple of chicks playing chess in a pub? Say, "Hey, can I play a game of chess with you guys?"
Tau Zero asks:
"1.One of the techno-talking babes (which one?), or:
That's a really tough choice...hmmmm... I enjoy chess like Brandy... I'm into model rocketry like Bambi... but I'd love to be able to make micro-robots as well as Dawn does...and Dawn really seems to be hitting it off with the Geek... hmmm... maybe I would have to say Fawn, we share similar interests, and temperament, plus she's got the coolest T-shirt on planet Earth. (Actually, for the record, I really like being Nitrozac.)
2.Someone with her boot on the real Bill Gates? "
What?! You mean that monstrous little thing I squashed wasn't the *real* Bill??? OMG, I'm gonna need bigger boots aren't I!
Next week's interview: Havoc Pennington